The U.S. plan for Iraqi forces to retake the city of Mosul from Islamic State by springtime have been pushed back several months at least, U.S. defense officials told The Daily Beast.
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According to the officials, the Iraqi troops would need significantly more training before they can hope to oust ISIS from its northern Iraq stronghold.
“It is an Iraqi decision but we don’t want to do anything until they are ready and can win decisively,” a military official told the Daily Beast. “They cannot now.”
According to the Daily Beast, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that it would take between six to nine months, "best estimate," for Iraqi forces to be up to launching a major operation against ISIS.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Central Command told reporters that the U.S. plan was that Kurdish and Iraqi troops would launch an offensive, aided by U.S. airstrikes, to capture Mosul by April or May.